It came for her in the shower.
The quickening in her womb could not keep pace with the quickening of her heart as, her back against the wall, she felt him enter her.
Semen and water. Running down, down, and out. Down her thighs, down the drain, and out of her life.
This was how it started, she thought, saying nothing. Seeing nothing. One hand on her ever-expanding middle. The other against the back of his neck. Old habits die hard.
Determined to give as good as she got, she opened her eyes.
Lips puckered for kissing, her mouth expanded into a silent scream as, through the steam, she saw it.
He did not.
Screaming for a very different reason, he never felt the alien’s mouth enter the back of his skull and exit through his own.
“I love your big brain!” she said yesterday.
Today, she felt that big brain, and bits of little bone, hit her in the face, along with pieces of broken glass, as her headless husband dropped.
In shock, she ceased feeling the water against her skin. But she was all too aware of her water against her skin. Feeling the baby kick, she knew that more than a shower door had broken…
Wet and black, the alien’s tail slid up her leg, higher and higher, until it took the place of her husband’s penis.
Inexplicably thinking of her last meal, she imagined the alien lifting. Lifting her baby out of her womb like he was soup in a ladle.
But if the alien’s tail is a ladle, and my son is soup, I’m the tureen.
The ship’s tureen was made of metal.
Metal was strong.
And so was she.
Snatching a piece of broken glass off the floor, ignoring the pain as it dug into her palm, she become one with her husband one more time as, their blood mingling, she kicked off from the wall, aiming for the alien’s face.
Her aim was true.
Biting back a scream as the alien’s acid blood ran down her arm, she ran past it, slipping on the floor before she could get clear.
The floor rushing to meet her, she threw out her hands, breaking her fall at the last second. Then she was out.
Naked and alone, the blood-red emergency lights were her guardian angels. Heed them, and she would find salvation.
The smack of her wet feet on metal echoed into the silence as she ran and ran and ran.
She ran until, doubling over to suck in breath, she swore that the only thing left inside her was, judging by a second kick, fighting to get out.
But: She now stood before the pearly gates.
Her hand leaving a red smear as she opened one and looked longingly at the other, she had enough time to wonder How long? before she did not have to wonder anymore.
Hot on her heels, it had come.
Inexorable. Not invincible.
As she proved as, careening past her in its blind, furious hunger, she pressed a button before its eyeless face saw the error of its ways, sealing it behind one pearly gate and in front of a second.
The second pearly gate opening, naked and alone is how the alien faced the cold vacuum of space as it was sucked out the airlock.
Her cry of joy froze in her throat, turning into a scream of pain as, sitting on the floor, she opened a third gate.
This gate had no pearls.
She was, after all, a modest woman.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you, George R.R. Martin. The scene of the woman breaking her fall in order to protect her baby was inspired by a scene in A Game of Thrones where (SPOILER) Daenarys is attacked by Khal Drogo’s bloodriders while trying to save his life.
This short story is a different take on the shower scene in Alien: Covenant (2017).
Thank you, Ridley Scott, for the “Alien” series.